Opinion: Jane Walker The Makeover No One Asked For
It’s common knowledge that drinks like scotch and beer have been primarily marketed towards men, rather than women. When you imagine a night of cigars and scotch what do you see? I see men in their dinner jackets, laughing over losses and fully engrossed in their boy’s club with the unspoken (understood) rule ‘no women allowed’.
Johnnie Walker, (flush with good intentions, I’m sure) intended to turn the stereotypical narrative on its head by introducing Jane Walker. The same scotch, with the logo conveniently altered to that of a woman in a top hat, just in time for Women’s History Month.
Introducing Jane Walker, our new icon that celebrates progress in Women’s Rights. With every step, we all move forward. pic.twitter.com/1YP32odgJk
— Johnnie Walker (@JohnnieWalkerUS) 26 February 2018
What’s more telling is the reaction that Jane Walker has received on social media. While some are patting themselves on the back for finally achieving ‘gender equality’ (we’d still like equal pay, thanks), others are questioning the gimmickry of it all.
Maybe Keep Walking?
To be fair, the statement given by Vice President Stephanie Jacoby certainly didn’t help things. “Scotch as a category is seen as particularly intimidating by women,” Jacoby told Bloomberg News in an interview. “It’s a really exciting opportunity to invite women into the brand.”
We’re sorry that hundreds of years of blatant reinforcement that women who drink alcohol are deviants, politicians telling us they ‘fear that even women drink beer now‘, and the still present taboo of females drinking in public for fear of being labelled a ‘loose woman’ or ‘easy’ has made us appear intimidated by scotch. I’m sure many women out there would be glad to tell you, that’s not the case.
While Diageo will be donating $1 from every bottle of Jane Walker sold to organizations championing women’s causes, it’s not hard to see why we’re getting flashbacks of those Bic pens, or god forbid, Doritos for women. Honestly, at this point, it’s like being satisfied with breadcrumbs, like Hollywood movies getting flak for a lack of diversity and adding a token person of colour in response.
Sure, the cursory nod is all good and well (patronizing though it may be), but we deserve our very own Black Panther, and, until then, I suggest Johnnie Walker take its glass of condescending gratuity and keep on walking.
Is Jane Walker the hero we need, deserve, or a slap in the face? Let us know in the comments below!
Feature Image: CNBC